Posted on October 30, 2014

In the wake of the nation’s construction boom, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and the Pakistan Engineers Forum (PEF), hosted a joint seminar exploring innovation opportunities and challenges in Qatar’s construction sector. 

The event, which took place this week at Qatar Foundation, was attended by more than 50 construction practitioners and sustainability experts. The seminar supported QF’s objective to ensure cutting-edge, environmentally sustainable infrastructure, and QGBC’s commitment to working in collaboration with key stakeholders to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.

Addressing the gathered experts, Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, Director of Qatar Green Building Council, said: “QGBC is focused on promoting green practice across Qatar’s construction sector so we were delighted to host this conversation between sustainability experts, innovators and building specialists. We are committed to helping the nation deliver the Qatar National Vision 2030, and our discussions highlighted some interesting ideas and themes for reform and growth.”

Qatar Green Building Council seminar 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgAsfandiar Ansari, President of the Pakistani Engineers Forum, highlighted the importance of organisations working together to achieve common objectives: “The Pakistan Engineers Forum was established in 1997 with the main objective to disseminate knowledge within the community. Since knowledge knows no boundaries, we joined hands in our knowledge sharing efforts with key engineering organisations in Qatar like QGBC. The informative discussions at this event enable our members to connect with others and generate new insights into the construction industry in Qatar. We would like to thank QGBC for providing a great networking opportunity for our members.”

Among Qatar’s large construction projects over the coming decade are Qatar Rail, the FIFA 2022 World Cup stadia, Msheireb Downtown Doha and Lusail Real Estate Development amongst many more. Dr Alex Amato, Head of Sustainability at QGBC, added: “Innovation opportunities in the construction sector are abundant. The real question we need to answer is, ‘to what extent is innovation and research encouraged in this sector?’ As part of our efforts to encourage innovation and research in the construction sector, QGBC has brought together members of the construction industry to conduct vital innovative research as part of its landmark project the Qatar Case Study Passivhaus. The project is now undergoing the research phase and is aimed at reducing energy consumption by half.”

Qatar Green Building Council seminar 3 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgEngineer Mohamed Al-Sada, Chairman of Gulf Scientific Gateway, focused on the important role of entrepreneurs in encouraging innovation in the construction sector. He said: “Qatar’s current regulations and laws help entrepreneurs and innovators in many ways. However, they do not adequately address the main challenge facing new entrepreneurs in Qatar, which is capturing market gains while competing with existing market giants. We hope that we will witness further modifications in this regard.”

Dr Azhar Iqbal, Managing Director of Gulf Scientific Gateway, offered a potential solution. His presentation suggested that increased innovation and the introduction of new concepts to the construction industry will help minimise competition between new entrants and established market leaders. The event featured another informative presentation by Dr Uvais Qidwai, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Qatar University that highlighted the challenges innovators face in Qatar and how old innovations can provide answers to the modern age challenges.

He explained: “New concepts such as Zero Energy Design housing or the Passivhaus will encourage innovative thinking in Qatar’s market by pushing both the new entrants and existing giants to join forces and work together for their mutual benefit.” QGBC is a non-profit, membership-driven organisation dedicated to advocating green building solutions, leading industry research, as well as promoting sustainable practice in the community. QGBC offers membership opportunities to organisations, individuals and students who demonstrate support for QNV 2030 and showcase passion for environmental sustainability.

For more information about QGBC, please visit: www.qatargbc.org

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